Ecopax Holds Groundbreaking at New Bethlehem Manufacturing Facility
By Colin McEvoy on August 4, 2016
A leading manufacturer of single-use plates and takeout containers broke ground today on a new 144,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in the Lehigh Valley.
Ecopax Inc. is opening the new facility in the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII in Bethlehem, which is expected to employ as many as 90 workers within the next three to four years.
“The Lehigh Valley is an outstanding place to do business and supplies a skilled and diverse workforce necessary for today’s manufacturing,” said Christina Wong, vice president of Ecopax. “We are excited about our new Bethlehem plant and look forward to adding to the city’s continued growth and renewal.”
Founded in 2007, Ecopax is headquartered in Easton, where it maintains a 175,000 square-foot manufacturing facility with 85 full-time employees. The new Bethlehem site will immediately employ up to 30 people during its startup phase, according to the company.
The new Bethlehem facility, which is being constructed by local contractor JVI, LLC, will manufacture paper and polypropylene products. Ecopax products are made with foam, paper, and plastic designed to accommodate a variety of needs in the food service and consumer industries.
Construction of the Bethlehem facility is slated for completion in early 2017, according to Wong. The new location is expected to begin operations in the third or fourth quarter of 2017.
Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez attended the groundbreaking ceremony and praised the new facility for helping to provide good jobs for the region’s skilled workforce.
“I would like to applaud Ecopax on their selection of the City of Bethlehem and LVIP VII for their new 144,000 square-foot manufacturing facility,” Donchez said. “I am pleased that construction of the facility will be by local contractor JVI, LLC. As I have said before, Bethlehem is worth investing in.”
EcoPax products include foam containers, plates and boals, paper containers, plastic drinking cups, and cups for sauces, mix-ins, and various condiments. It also provides Apollo brand collections of plates, bowls, and trays for retailers, and offers customized takeout products for companies.
In an LVEDC-commissioned study, Atlanta-based Garner Economics identified high performance manufacturing as one of the four target industry sectors for the Lehigh Valley based on the site-specific characteristics of the regional economy.
They include the region’s central location, well-developed transportation infrastructure, strong workforce, availability of water and sewer lines to industrial sites, high proportion of residents with bachelor’s degrees in engineering, and strong existing local pool of high-demand occupations.
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